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Ari Berman

Ari Berman is a contributing writer for The Nation magazine and an Investigative Journalism Fellow at The Nation Institute. His new book, Give Us the Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America, will be published in August 2015 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. He has written extensively about American politics, civil rights, and the intersection of money and politics. His stories have also appeared in The New York Times, Rolling Stone, and The Guardian, and he is a frequent guest and commentator on MSNBC and NPR. His first book, Herding Donkeys: The Fight to Rebuild the Democratic Party and Reshape American Politics, was published in 2010 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. (Photo by Ports Bishop)

  • Election 2008 January 4, 2008

    A Night at the Caucus

    An Iowa native attends his home-town caucus, and discovers deliberative democracy at its freewheeling finest. d

    Ari Berman

  • Election 2008 January 3, 2008

    The Democratic Foreign Policy Wars

    All the candidates reject Bush's disasters--but that won't be enough for the next administration.

    Ari Berman

  • Election 2008 November 29, 2007

    War Comes Home to Iowa

    The absence of a definitive antiwar candidate has divided the state's peace activists.

    Ari Berman

  • October 19, 2007

    Hillary’s Chinatown Express

    The Los Angeles Times ran an eyebrow-raising story this morning about how Hillary Clinton is raising money from a highly unlikely source: New York's Chinatown.

    "Dishwashers, waiters and others whose jobs and dilapidated home addresses seem to make them unpromising targets for political fundraisers are pouring $1,000 and $2,000 contributions into Clinton's campaign treasury," the paper reports. "In April, a single fundraiser in an area long known for its gritty urban poverty yielded a whopping $380,000."

    According to the article, powerful Chinese neighborhood associations pushed residents to donate to the Clinton camp. The source of many of these donations remains a mystery.

    Ari Berman

  • Campaign Finance October 11, 2007

    Rudy’s Bird of Prey

    Giuliani's conservative kingmaker knows all about the ugly side of Third World debt. He invented it.

    Ari Berman

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  • Campaign Finance October 11, 2007

    Rudy’s Dirty Money

    A closer look at the Texas energy interests fueling the former New York mayor's presidential campaign.

    Ari Berman

  • September 25, 2007

    Senate Neocons Provoke Iran

    Listen up. Can you hear the drums beating for a third war?

    The neocons are in a bubbling rage over Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's visit to Columbia University. The pro-surge propagandists at Freedom Watch labeled the Iranian leader a "terrorist" in--of all places--a New York Times ad. Neocon godfather, Giuliani advisor and "World War IV" author Norman Podharetz went to the White House recently to urge President Bush to bomb Iran's nuclear facilities.

    And now Senators Jon Kyl and Joe Lieberman, who's already advocated attacking the country, are introducing a sense of the Senate resolution, possibly up for a vote today, that accuses Iran of fighting "a proxy war against the Iraqi state and coalition forces in Iraq." [SEE UPDATE AT END]

    Ari Berman

  • September 23, 2007

    A Homegrown Doomsday Scenario

    Late last month, the US Air Force transported a dozen cruise missiles from Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota to Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana. The cargo, unbeknownst to the crew, included six nuclear warheads, with the power to destory 60 Hiroshimas. As they were moved across the country, the nukes went undetected for 36 hours. In an explosive front page story today, the Washington Post asks the question: "How Could It Have Happened?"

    "It was the first known flight by a nuclear-armed bomber over US airspace, without special high-level authorization, in nearly 40 years," Post reporters Walter Pincus and Joby Warrick write. A high-ranking former Air Force official called it "one of the biggest mistakes in [Air Force] history."

    The B-52 plane carrying the nukes sat on the tarmac in North Dakota for 15 hours with only minimal security protection. It was not authorized to transport such weapons. The episode, the Post writes, "may not have been a fluke but a symptom of deeper problems in the handling of nuclear weapons now that Cold War anxieties have abated." The military's post-Cold War nuclear safeguard system is described as "utterly debased."

    Ari Berman

  • September 21, 2007

    Democrats Stab MoveOn in the Back

    Memo to Democrats: you control the Congress. That means you can decide what bills come to the floor for votes--and what don't. So why, in a week where Republicans blocked the restoration of habeas corpus, voting rights for DC and adequate rest time for our troops between deployments, did you allow Republicans the opportunity to score a cheap PR stunt by approving a resolution condemning a week-old newspaper ad by the same day Republicans once again voted to keep indefinitely continuing the Iraq war?!

    It boggles the mind. I have no idea what Harry Reid was thinking. Does he think that by repudiating suddenly Fox News will like him? That Ann Coulter will take back all those nasty things she said? That Republicans will stop trying to blame the Democrats for losing this war?

    MoveOn has been one of the most effective and persistent voices pushing for progressive change inside the Democratic Party. They helped elect politicians like Jon Tester in Montana and Jim Webb in Virginia, who today stabbed the group in the back. MoveOn didn't start this war. George Bush did. And General Petraeus is keeping it going. They've only been in the majority for nine months, but you'd think by now Democratic leaders in Congress would be able to comprehend the obvious.

    Ari Berman

  • Election 2008 September 17, 2007

    Democrats Sizzle in Iowa

    It felt a bit like Election Day in Iowa this weekend, as Democratic candidates at Senator Tom Harkin's Steak Fry served up appetizers of the campaign to come.

    Ari Berman